Travelers from Northeast Pennsylvania recently reminisced about trips through the Golden State to Sin City and a French river cruise during photo parties hosted by their tour guides, Joe and Dolly Michalczyk.
The group gathered before Scranton’s St. Patrick’s Parade at Calabria Restaurant and then returned to the Michalczyks’ home to watch Mark Michal-czyk’s DVD of their trip to Los Angeles, Pasadena, San Diego, the California coast and Las Vegas.
During photo awards from the California trip, Susie Kern won best photo album and her husband, Dick, won for best animal shot for his photo of the sea otters at the Long Beach Aquarium. Gino Stankosky’s photo of the Le Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles won the most unusual shot. Terri Gloyd was awarded the best scenery award for her California coastline photo. Charlie Gloyd’s montage of nature shots, especially those from the San Diego Zoo, won the best nature award.
French art and postcards decorated the tables at La Cucina Restaurant in Dunmore to welcome travelers from the La Belle France river cruise. Dolly, wearing an Eiffel Tower dress, and Joe guided guests to a French wine and cheese hors d’ oeuvres table. They also dined on a French and Italian buffet customized by Marie Intoccia and chefs Paolo and Francesco Lepri.
The group, who viewed a DVD of the trip created by Mark Michalczyk, discussed the beauty of impressionist painter Claude Monet’s home and gardens at Giverny and the visit to post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh’s famous church and grave in Auvers-sur-Oise.
Guests were moved by the D-Day Cemetery and Chas Wozniak’s photos. Wozniak visited the grave of his uncle, Anthony Wozniak, who was killed there on July 12, 1944, during World War II.
Judges Kathy Ross and Bev Petrini reviewed entries in the photo contest and selected Kathy Waltz’s detailed scrapbook-like album for the best album award. Dee Dominick Noll and Marilyn Hiller also received outstanding kudos. Bill Hiller’s photos of the crosses at the D-Day Memorial American Cemetery and of the Normandy American Memorial won best picture and best architecture prizes. Noll’s charming entry of the water lilies at Monet’s home won the best nature award. JoAnn Stetz won best animal photo award for a framed photo of two ducks and the human-interest award for a photo, “Waiting for Claudio,” with a bar sign featuring an ephemeral angel titled “Heavenly Drinking, Anyone?”
Guests at the dinners included Marilyn Hiller, sporting an Eiffel Tower shirt; Kathy and Tom Bonomo, Maryanne Gelso, Mary Ann Zezza, Dennis and Estelle Kelly, Monica Michalczyk, Elaine and Ron Moran, Sharyn Wozniak, and Joan and Don La Torre.
Souvenirs from the trips served as party favors and prizes for the party.